In my opinion, one of the biggest issues facing global youth is apathy, complacency and a very individualistic and selfish attitude. I think the rugged individualism of the "American Dream" is something that has taken hold in much of today's youth, just as generations before us. The new attitude seems to be one of "if it doesn't affect me, it's not my problem." Unless a problem is affecting a person directly, there seems to be no obligation to step in and work for change. I think that any issues that need to be dealt with on a political level have become estranged to youth culture, as it has become estranged with politics as a whole. I think there is a large portion of youth culture that views systems of government, power and politics as too big and too flawed to dismantle or change, or simply doesn't think of them at all, and lives in total complacency.
I think another huge component of global youth culture is ignorance. For those that are not suffering to meet their basic needs, and have access to education, opportunity, etc., and are safely above the poverty line, and low-class economic status, can turn the other cheek and think that things are simply better than they are. I think that many youth see the entire world as a more progressive place than it necessarily is. I think of this in terms of racism. Many individuals, usually white, think that racism is a problem of the past, and that it's not something to worry about any longer. Obviously this is untrue and racism still runs rampant, despite going through the Civil Rights era 50 years ago. Many are unaware of how much privilege is still tied to race, or choose to ignore it. i also think there's a good portion of youth who simply choose not to think about things like racism because it makes them uncomfortable, or even guilty.
The song I chose to tie in with this is A Wake by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Macklemore captures the apathy of the modern times, and also hits hard about present day racism. Thiis song makes me appreciate him as an artist, because he's thinking about the collective, and real issues affecting the realities of plenty of people, but not necessarily him; a white, able-bodied, cisgendered man. He's displaying a better world view than the "not my problem" types, and caring about others.
Here's my favorite, and I believe the most powerful part of this song:
I grew up during Reaganomics
When Ice T was out there on his killing cops shit
Or Rodney King was getting beat on
And they let off every single officer
And Los Angeles went and lost it
Now every month there is a new Rodney on Youtube
It's just something our generation is used to
And neighbourhoods where you never see a news crew
Unless they're gentrifying, white people don't even cruise through
And my subconcious telling me stop it
This is an issue that you shouldn't get involved in
Don't even tweet, R.I.P Trayvon Martin
Don't wanna be that white dude, million man marchin'
Fighting for our freedom that my people stole
Don't wanna make all my white fans uncomfortable
But you don't even have a fuckin' song for radio
Why you out here talkin race, tryin' to save the fuckin' globe
Don't get involved with the causes in mind
White privilege, white guilt, at the same damn time
So we just party like it's nineteen ninty nine
Celebrate the ignorance while these kids keep dying